The family is to gather for his 87th: he who was once a man and then twice a child.

My feet refuse to move: the thought of attending is unbearable.

So many decades ago:

we incurred a severe debt of the most brutal punishment simply for misspelling a word on a quiz;

I can still see her lying there, on the floor, with his foot striking her face, the blood spilling onto the floor;

I can still hear the clenched fist striking the jaw of my younger simply because he was less gifted than I;

I can still feel the fear of being in his presence in church, in the boat fishing, at the dinner table where only deathly silence reigned;

my mind still reels at the memory if him tearing my younger brother from the high chair at age two simply because he failed to hold the fork according to mandate;

I can still feel the pain at his thundering his opinion without allowing others to differ;

one beaten until he could not stand; another beaten near to unconsciousness; unable to either sit or concentrate at school because of the damage done by solid oak; her back broken in a fit of hatred of one who was lesser;

absent at the baseball games; absent at the swim meets; absent.

And now they want to celebrate possibly his last birthday.

I am paralysed with the memories.

Nathan A. Busch

One Response to “87th”

  1. btusing2011 Says:

    Perhaps it is not him you go celebrate. Perhaps is is her you please by your attendance. She talks of nothing else but you attending and he doesn’t even know.

    The memories stay; the actions unconscionable; the harm done; now others bear your burdens and memories. The real question is whether a man rises above who and what happened years in the past or do haunting events determine his footsteps and life in the present. A man must make it a mission in this life to forgive, make things better for others, and try and restore some semblance of a normal existence.

    Again you come for her and not him. She is not well and perhaps will travel the road to the grave before him.

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